“What we’ve done is taken virtualization technology that’s been proven in the most business critical environments and ported that capability to the industry standard ProLiant, integrating it with industry standard hypervisors at the same time,” says Linesch. Integrated virtualization on ProLiant now gives customers virtualization-ready servers out of the box.
In a VMware environment, for example, HP leverages VMware Virtual Center and VMotion with its own management software to enable users to migrate virtual machines from a troubled server before a failure occurs. And the integration of HP StorageWorks Continuous Availability software with VMware Site Recovery allows site-level server replication and failover. The integration extends to Education Services as well: as a global VMware Authorized Training Center, HP recently trained its 10,000th student.
In the Citrix realm, HP has integrated XenServer 4.1 capabilities into selected ProLiant servers and created a unique suite of single-server tools to simplify setup and management, called ProLiant Virtual Console. And HP is supporting Microsoft Hyper-V on a broad range of servers and will add Hyper-V support to HP Insight Dynamics – VSE later this year.
“We’re probably farthest along with VMware in terms of ProLiant-ready virtualization and the services that wrap around that, just because they’ve been in the market longer,” notes Linesch. “But we’ll be engaging with all three partners at a very integral level, looking for opportunities to complement their offerings at the platform, software and services levels.”
One focus of HP’s virtualization partner strategy is support of the new virtual-client PC computing. Rather than rolling out fully loaded desktops across a user network, IT departments create a “client instance” for each PC in a virtual machine running on a server in the data center. Benefits include tighter security because data and software remain on a server in the highly secure data center, lower administration costs with management performed from a central location, and better utilization as multiple virtual machines can be run on one server.
The leading edge
“These types of emerging solutions have to be proven in the marketplace first, before they can cross the chasm to mainstream,” says Linesch. “The work we’re doing with our partners is around identifying those customers who are early adopters and putting together a whole product solution for them that includes the ‘lite’ client, the connection broker, the server environment and the management software.”
By partnering with the most popular virtualization environments in the industry-standard server world, HP aims to change the game, Linesch adds. “Together we’re delivering the next-generation management tools that support real-time capacity planning across both virtual and physical server environments, enable what-if analysis, and ultimately help customers to get the most out of their virtualization projects.
“No other company out there has the expertise at the platform, management, software, services and domain level to put it all together with a partner like VMware, Microsoft or Citrix the way we can.”